A quinoa lentil salad bursting with flavor and texture thanks to red pepper, carrots, scallions and feta. Tossed in a maple balsamic dressing and awesome served with pita chips! Perfect for gatherings, gluten-free and vegetarian.
*photos updated 2018; same awesome recipe!*
Hey all! I hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July weekend. I know we did! Two of my sisters, one of their boyfriends, and my little bro all came to visit. We did a kayaking float trip down the river, got some ice cream from our favorite creamery (we lovvveeee ice cream) checked out some fireworks, went to the local market downtown, made a slip-n-slide in the rain (husband’s idea), and grilled out. So much fun!
I also made THIS for them
Maple Balsamic Quinoa Lentil Salad
Mmmhhmm. A simple quinoa lentil salad, made with the little french green lentils. I’ve made this recipe several times for barbecues and dinner gatherings, and it has never disappointed! Some people that are not entirely sure what to make of the ingredients (those that haven’t fully embraced cooking with quinoa, or lentils for that matter) will ask with a tone of skepticism, “So Ashley, what is this?”…
But then I watch them take their first bite and they get that “pleasantly surprised” look on their faces. Even for my husband, who is (maybe?) starting to get used all of my healthy eating habits, cannot deny he enjoys this salad. My family here visiting liked it too.
what you need
- french green lentils
- white quinoa
- red quinoa
- kosher salt
- red bell pepper
- feta cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- maple syrup
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh garlic
This quinoa lentil salad is really quite simple and comes together so easily… cook your quinoa and lentils together. As that is going, prep your vegetables, feta, and make your dressing. Let your quinoa and lentils cool, toss everything together in a bowl, chill in the fridge and you’re done!
This salad is even great to make the night before, because the flavors of the dressing get a chance to seep into all the pockets of quinoa and veggies. Super tasty! I think I could make salads everyday (especially this time of year!)
P.S. This quinoa lentil salad serves 6 as a decent sized side, with only 13 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of plant-based PROTEIN (thanks to the lentils and quinoa).
For the salad:
- 2/3 cup french green lentils, rinsed
- 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/3 cup red quinoa, rinsed
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated (or 1 cup bagged shredded carrots)
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch of scallions, green and white parts chopped
- 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing:
- Put rinsed lentils, quinoa, thyme, and salt in large pot with 1 1/3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes (until water has gone). Drain any excess water and let cool.
- In a large bowl combine grated carrot, diced red pepper, and chopped scallions. Set aside.
- Combine juice of one lemon, garlic, maple syrup, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and mineral salt in mini blender or bullet until well combined.
- Add your cooled quinoa and lentils to your bowl of vegetables, add your dressing and toss to coat. Fold in your crumbled feta.
- Let chill in fridge for 30 minutes until ready to serve.
Using either all red or all white quinoa is fine. The red quinoa tends to hold it’s shape better for cold salads like this one, but I like the mix of white in there as well. 1 cup or pre-packaged shredded carrots works just fine, but I prefer the freshly grated whole carrots as they aren’t as dry. This salad is great to make ahead, as the flavors of the dressing will settle in overnight in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1/6
- Calories: 221
- Sugar: 8
- Sodium: 461
- Fat: 14
- Saturated Fat: 5
- Unsaturated Fat: 7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 24
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 12
- Cholesterol: 25
Here’s to a full work week…*womp womp*
How did you celebrate your 4th of July?! What is your favorite part of the holiday?
Did you grill out or make anything super tasty?